While the Thomas Branigan Memorial Library and The Las Cruces Museums continue to be closed due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, you can still find storytimes, craft time activities, science experiments, and even animal encounters on their social media pages.
“The library and museums are here to provide resources for our community. Closing our doors doesn’t mean we’ve stopped. We just had to get more creative,” said Lynn Gallagher, Quality of Life Director.
“Routines are off, some families are struggling with isolation and home learning, and it’s hard for the littles ones. We do this to give them that sense of comfort and keep them engaged and happy, even if it is only for a few minutes a day,” Gallagher added.
Soon after New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham’s issued the public health emergency order to prevent the spread of COVID-19, the Library staff released a video teaching little kids the proper way to wash their hands. The video got a great response and became the first in the storytime video series. Currently the library uploads two storytime videos per week to Facebook on Wednesdays, and Saturday at 10:30 a.m., plus a craft video on Friday at 6:30 p.m.
“Branigan Library staff is working hard to provide digital programming for patrons while the stay at home order is in place. In addition to our Storytime and Craft videos we also offer instructional videos, virtual book clubs and events like online author talks,” said Margaret Neill, Library Administrator.
Recently the library, in collaboration with Kanopy, is offering access to thousands of movies with a library card at www.lascruces.kanopy.com. The library has many other digital resources, such as, e-books, e-audiobooks, streaming music, digital magazines, databases and more; to learn more visit https://www.las-cruces.org/1630/Digital-Resources.
Branigan Library continues to provide limited services over the telephone from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday to Friday, such as item renewal, library card sign-up, digital resource troubleshooting, and reference.
The library is waiving all late fees and fines and will also be allowing unlimited renewals either online or over the phone. Books by Mail will also continue. Any items still checked out have been renewed through June 1, and do not need to be returned to the library until the end of the renewal period. However, the book drop will remain open for those who do wish to return items.
The Las Cruces Museum System is also uploading videos to their Facebook page and Instagram every couple of days, including their Pre-K Program at the Museum of Nature and Science, as well as interactive trivia games, animal encounters, and even exhibit tours.
On Tuesdays, they host “Takeover Tuesday”, where one staff member gives the public a behind-the-scenes look at the exhibits.
The Thomas Branigan Library and the Las Cruces Museum System are part of the Quality of Life Department, along with Senior Programs, Public Art, the Volunteer Network, and RoadRUNNER Transit. To connect with the Museums and Branigan Library or drop in on some virtual activities visit and like the social media pages listed below.